Grandma Perreca's Rice Balls
September 07, 2019 11:31 AM
Perreca's Arancini (Rice Balls with a meaty center)
For the center :
2 tbs. olive oil;
1/2 c. finely chopped onion;
3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped;
1/2 lb. lean ground beef;
1/2 lb. Italian sausage;
1/2 small can tomato paste;
1/4 c. water;
1/2 c. parmesan cheese;
3/4 c. green peas (we use frozen -- but Grandma Perreca used canned and the arancini were delicious);
salt & pepper to taste.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion and garlic until translucent but not brown.
- Add ground beef and Italian sausage (break up loosely if in links) and cook through. Drain off most of the oil.
- Dissolve 1/2 small can of tomato paste in 1/4 c. water and add to meat mixture stirring thoroughly.
- Add parmesan, peas, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook uncovered over medium heat stirring occasionally until mixture sets (about 7-10 minutes). Set aside.
For the outer rice layer:
2 cups cooked rice -- use either Italian Arborio or short grain white rice & cook according to package directions. At Perreca's we use chicken stock and a splash of white wine instead of water when cooking the rice;
1/2 c. parmesan cheese;
4 large eggs total -- beaten / 2 for the rice mixture / 2 held over for battering with bread crumbs before frying;
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese;
1 1/2 c. Perreca's Bread Crumbs
enough vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl, mix cooked rice, parmesan cheese, 2 beaten eggs and mozzarella thoroughly.
- Place in refrigerator until mixture is cool (can even be made a day ahead of time -- but cover the mixture with cellophane wrap if you are going to leave it overnight).
- With an ice-cream scoop, form a ball with the rice and cup it in your hands forming a hollow center. Fill center with meat mixture and cover top with more rice, forming a ball, or arancini, with your hands -- it's much the same process, at this point, as packing the perfect snowball.
- Roll arancini in a bowl containing the final 2 beaten eggs, and then roll in a separate bowl containing your Italian bread crumbs.
- Have vegetable oil already heated and ready at this point (about 1-1 1/2 " thickness in your pan), and gently drop the arancini in to fry.
- Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Arancini can be served topped with marinara sauce immediately before serving, or you may opt to serve your sauce on the side.
Updated: September 07, 2019 11:31 AM
Created: September 07, 2019 08:48 AM
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